Halloween movie: ‘Bellflower’

This Halloween, I wanted to promote some movies that are perfect for the season. Some are films that I have seen and love, others I have just heard of and still more come from friends and online connections. I hope to have many more suggestions leading up to the 31st, so watch this space.

Bellflower (2011)

Written and directed by Evan Glodell
This film was suggested to me by ‘Tiger’ Tom Briggs.

Not exactly a ‘horror’ film, Bellflower is nonetheless very disturbing and more than a bit mystifying. Like a car wreck, I couldn’t tear myself away from watching as a pair of social misfits try and make their foolish Mad Max dream come to life while their personal lives disintegrate. It is incredibly well directed and as a first outing, an impressive effort from writer/director/lead actor Evan Glodell.

Woodrow and Aiden are tragically deranged and seem determined to destroy themselves and everyone around them. Drawn in by dreams of a post-apocalyptic world as their only hope of finding happiness, they exert all of their energies on making a Road Warrior-esque car along with a home-made flame thrower. The real horror comes after the more normal of the two Woodrow starts dating Milly and… things go very very badly.

The coda of the movie, Aiden’s narrative on Woodrow becoming ‘Lord Humongous’ (the hockey-mask-wearing villain of Mad Max) and how he doesn’t need to ask for anything, he just takes is haunting and unsettling. You could say that the movie is an examination of the impact of escapist fantasy film for a culturally deprived generation or you could just say it’s messed up.

I’m not sure which is more accurate.

Bellflower follows two friends as they venture out into the world to begin their adult lives. All their free time is spent building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang “Mother Medusa”. While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.

Originally from Wisconsin, Glodell moved to California in his early 20s with a group of close friends to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker via their production collective “Coatwolf.” His credits include directing Cursive’s “Let Me Up” music video, cinematography on horror movie PLACEBO and short film SAVANNA, and conceptualizing and starring in the edgy sitcom BOSS OF THE GLORY for STIM TV. BELLFLOWER is Glodell’s feature-length directorial debut.

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